RELEASE DAY LAUNCH REVIEW AND EXCERPT: STRONG by Kylie Scott

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kylie Scott comes a new story in her Stage Dive series…

When the girl of your dreams is kind of a nightmare.

As head of security to Stage Dive, one of the biggest rock bands in the world, Sam Knowles has plenty of experience dealing with trouble. But spoilt brat Martha Nicholson just might be the worst thing he’s ever encountered. The beautiful troublemaker claims to have reformed, but Sam knows better than to think with what’s in his pants. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to make his heart fall into line.

Martha’s had her sights on the seriously built bodyguard for years. Quiet and conservative, he’s not even remotely her type. So why the hell can’t she get him out of her mind? There’s more to her than the Louboutin wearing party-girl of previous years, however. Maybe it’s time to let him in on that fact and deal with this thing between them.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

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My Review

It was so AMAZING being back in Kylie Scott’s Stage Dive series; I adore these rockers, their women, and their shenanigans, especially from a certain drummer;) So, anytime I can reconnect with Mal, David and the rest of the band in their world, I call it a good day. But, I can’t even begin to express the trepidation I felt when I saw that villainess, Martha Nicholson, was going to be the female lead in STRONG. Fans of this series know exactly why she’s enemy number one when it comes to the drama she caused for David and Evie and her theatrics and spoiled brat attitude definitely didn’t win her any points with me.

I’ll admit…going into STRONG, it was difficult not to already be biased when it came to Martha and her desire for Sam. I never felt like she was genuinely sorry for her past words and actions, but I did my best to stifle my preconceived notions of her as I dove into her story, and while I can’t say that I truly like Martha, what I can say is that she proves herself to be better than her past self without seeming fake and I appreciate that she was able to make amends in small ways and learn to accept her role/position as a member of the Stage Dive family.

What’s not to love about security guard, Sam Knowles?! The reason I find Sam so damn amazing is because despite who Martha was in the past and the reprehensible things she said and did, Sam saw the real her – the one hidden behind her bitchy exterior and bad behavior – and, I have to say, I loved witnessing Sam stronghold Martha and tame her mouth when necessary. It’s not that he was putting her in her place; it’s just that she needed a nudge here and there, and it was about time he was the one who gave it to her!

The title for Martha and Sam’s story is quite poignant; it resonates multiple meanings throughout the course of the story line…the strength of their feelings for each other…Sam’s physical strength…their strong personalities…the bond they end up forming…all of these ideas depict two people who have been around each other for over a decade but are only now strong enough to take a chance…to risk it all to be together.

Kylie Scott’s Stage Dive series is one of my absolute favorite collections of rocker romances. I loved catching up with the entire cast and crew, and I can’t get enough of Mal’s antics and the love and devotion of this badass rockers to their wives and their families. I might just need to do a reread now and rediscover why this series and these characters made such an impression on me!

4.5 Poison Apples

Excerpt

“I don’t believe this,” I bitched. “My Valentino boots are actually sticking to the floor. That’s how gross this place is.”

Lizzy just smiled. “Told you to dress casual.”

“I am.”

The smile widened.

“Jeans and a tee is casual.”

“A tee? It’s velvet, Martha.” She held a bottle of beer up to her lips, taking a sip. “I said we were going to a dive bar. You have only yourself to blame for the fashion faux pas.”

“But velvet is in!”

“Would you two quit talking? I’m trying to listen,” said my brother, Ben. The big hairy idiot was slouched back in his chair, bopping his head in time to the music.

Lizzy shuffled closer all conspiratorial-like. “I know why you’re all dressed up.”

I said nothing. There was nothing to be said.

Next her gaze went to the man standing at the end of the bar across from us. No, no, I would not turn my head. I would not fall prey to her bullshit. After all, I’d managed to successfully avoid him for the forty-eight or so hours since my not so triumphant surprise return to the West Coast. Even with us both being in the same house. A very big sprawling house, but still.

On the other hand, it should probably be mentioned that he looked awfully good tonight in jeans and a white T-shirt with a leather jacket. Samuel Rhodes, otherwise known as Sam. Not a pretty man with his harsh features and bull-like neck, but something about him appealed to me. As always, his head was shaved and his body was built and my idiot fingers itched to explore.

Okay. So I guess at some point I must have turned my head. And shit, he caught me looking.

The corner of his lips rose just a little, just enough to mess with me, before he returned to doing his job by casually surveying the packed room. My heart did not speed up due to anything done by him. Clearly, I hadn’t totally caught my breath from when we’d walked in half an hour ago or something. That was all. Interesting to note, he did none of the checking me out typical of a heterosexual male who might have been into me. In fact, he didn’t really give me any signals at all. Ever.

Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet. You can learn more about Kylie from http://www.kylie-scott.com/

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